I may not be taking the 20 in 2020 challenge, but I’m certainly making an effort to buy more second-hand and ethical clothing this year. I’ve written before about how thrift stores and charity shops can be a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wardrobe. But with the country in lockdown popping to the shops to seek out some hidden gems is no longer an option. So I’ve turned to the internet, and discovered The Closet, an amazing online thrift shop based in Australia.
Unlike many digital thrift stores, The Closet has a really well-designed website, which is easy to navigate, and gives you plenty of options for browsing different products. There are hundreds of items to choose from, with designer and high street brands both represented. They have shoes and accessories as well as clothes, so it would be perfectly plausible to source whole outfits from them. Sadly they don’t seem to do menswear, but hopefully this will come in the future. Menswear often seems to be a bit behind when it comes to ethical options.
You can sell your clothes directly to The Closet and you’ll get paid a percentage of what they are bought for. I haven’t done this yet, but I expect that when my shipping arrives there will be a few items I have fallen out of love it, so will probably give it a try. Your payout percentage increases with the sale price of your clothing, which is a good way of ensuring that they receive quality items.
The number of items in the ‘New with Tags’ section shows you how big our fast fashion problem is. It’s so easy to pick things up thinking we ‘have to have’ them, only for them to sit in the wardrobe unworn, until we finally decide to get rid of them. Hopefully more people are becoming aware of alternatives to landfill, but whichever way you look at it, it’s a big issue. According to The Closet, Australians throw away a massive 23kg of the 27kg of clothing they buy every year, and consume 60% more fashion than in the year 2000. But each item of clothing is kept for half as long. Those are some pretty depressing numbers.
It’s easy to think that your wardrobe is only ‘green’ if you’re buying exclusively from ‘ethical’ clothing brands. These labels are an important part of the long-term solution, and we should encourage these business practices whenever possible. But they are also often prohibitively expensive. Buying second-hand clothes is a great way to play a part in the green fashion revolution without having to break the bank. Next time you notice a gap in your wardrobe that you just have to fill, head to The Closet to get your fix, and do your bit for the planet.
I picked up three items in my first visit to The Closet, including this gorgeous pair of overalls from Princess Highway. I must admit that I’ve gone on to buy more from them directly since finding these. They’re a brand I’d never heard of before, so The Closet has also helped me find some new labels I like (particularly helpful seeing as I basically have no clue about Australian fashion brands yet). I adore their cute prints, and these dungarees made me feeling I was embracing autumn without losing the fun of the summer.
I also went for this black one-piece by Missguided. This and the previous item both had their tags on still! This is exactly the sort of fast fashion practice The Closet helps with. This Missguided top was probably bought on a whim and thrown in the back of a cupboard, only to be passed on untouched months later. I’m not quite sure how to style these extravagantly puffy sleeves, but I think pairing it with these high-waisted blue jeans gives it a nice casual but put-together feel.
Finally, I went for this piped navy and white pyjama style top. I’ve always been a fan of this style, but I’ll admit that this colour is a little hard to match with other things in my wardrobe. But I like how it looks with these culottes; this outfit has a slightly vintage feel that I love. I also like buttoning it right up, again leaning into a vintage feel.
Have you tried The Closet? Where do you look online for thrifted clothes? I’d love to hear your recommendations!